Veterans Report - Week of December 10, 2012
How Can You Say Thank You to Our Troops Today?
Thanks-A-Bunch(TM) and Military.com have come together to offer you a unique opportunity to say "thanks" to our troops, our veterans and their families (American Heroes) by providing them with a $50 Thanks-A-Bunch gift card that you can purchase for just $10 (tax deductible) to (http://www.thanksabunch.org/milcom/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) help pay for a nice meal out with family and friends.
Plans for New Army Museum
Plans for construction of the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia continue. Earlier this year, the Army Historical Foundation -- the museum's official fundraiser -- announced a sponsorship program to encourage donations for construction. Veterans' Hall will be a multifunctional space for reunions, meetings, presentations, lectures and other official events. Dates are being determined for the museum's next steps. A site dedication will take place on March 15, 2013. A groundbreaking is planned for 2014, and the museum's opening for 2017. For more information, visit the National Museum of the United States Army website at (http://www.nationalmuseumoftheusarmy.com/) www.nationalmuseumoftheusarmy.com.
For more military museum resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/Resources/Resou ... _guide.htm) Military.com museum directory.
Job Fairs for the Holiday Season
The American Legion, in coordination with various organizations, will conduct around 15 career fairs for veterans, servicemembers and their families throughout the holiday season. From now until the first week of 2013, Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) job fairs will span out across the country, reaching locations like (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroe ... rior-event) Camp Pendleton, Calif., (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/phoenix-az0) Phoenix, Ariz., and (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/orlando-fl0) Orlando, Fla. Attendees to the career fairs are asked to wear business professional attire and submit their r?m?beforehand through the electronic registration link provided for each job fair. To find a veterans career fair in your area, see the U.S. Chamber's full listing of (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes) Hiring Our Heroes events.
For more on military transition and civilian jobs, including job fair listings nationwide, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.
VA Research Program Reaches Milestone
The Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program (MVP) recently enrolled its 100,000th volunteer research participant. MVP is a landmark research effort aimed at better understanding how genes affect health. Up to a million veterans are expected to enroll in the VA study over the next six years. MVP is now at 40 VA medical centers nationwide, with additional VA sites opening for enrollment in the coming year. With more than 110,000 enrollees to date, MVP already far exceeds the enrollment numbers of any single VA study or research program in the past. For more information about MVP, visit VA's Million Veteran Program website at (http://www.research.va.gov/MVP) www.research.va.gov/MVP.
For complete guides on veteran benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.
WWII Museum Hosts POW Exhibit
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is hosting a special exhibit, "Guests of the Third Reich: American POWs in Europe" through July 13, 2013. During World War II, 93,941 Americans were held as prisoners of war (POWs) in the European Theater. For more information including a list of programs in conjunction with the exhibit, visit the National World War II Museum website at (http://www.ddaymuseum.org/) www.ddaymuseum.org. Following the Museum on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#%21/WWIIToday) @wwiitoday for regular updates on the Museum's 70th anniversaries in America's WWII stories featuring images, oral histories and artifacts from the Museum's collection.
For more on World War II and other events in military history, visit the (http://www.military.com/history) Military.com History Center.
American Indian, Alaska Native Agreement
American Indian and Alaska native veterans will soon have increased access to health care services closer to home following a recent Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service (IHS) joint national agreement. As a result of this agreement, VA is now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans. While the national agreement applies only to VA and IHS, it will inform agreements negotiated between the VA and tribal health programs. VA copayments do not apply to direct care services provided by IHS to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans under this agreement. To find out additional information about American Indian and Alaska native veteran programs, visit VA's Office of Tribal Government Relations webpage at (http://www.va.gov/tribalgovernment) www.va.gov/tribalgovernment.
For complete guides on veteran benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.
2013 Proposed Military Pay Charts
The President and House of Representatives have proposed a 1.7 percent across-the-board pay increase for 2013. The Senate has yet to present a National Defense budget proposal. If passed the military pay increase will go into effect on January 1, 2013 and will be reflected by the mid-January paydate.
Take a look at the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... RC=mrvr.nl) 2013 military pay charts to see what you may be getting next year.
New myPay Password Reset Process
Beginning in mid-December, Defense Finance and Accounting Service customers will be able to reset their myPay passwords online by answering a few security questions. Before this new feature, myPay users received new passwords by email or mail. After logging in to their accounts in mid-December, users will be given a list of 17 possible security questions to answer. Users need to answer eight of those 17 questions to set up their online password reset capability. In the spring of 2013, however, all myPay users, including those who use Army Knowledge Online, the Air Force Portal and smart cards, will be required to answer eight security questions. Until then, those who choose to bypass the questions will not be able to reset their passwords online until they have answered the questions. . For more information, contact the DFAS Customer Care Center at 888-332-7411.
For more on military pay benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay) Military.com Benefits Center.
New Army Cryptologic MOS
The U.S. Army recently opened a new military occupational specialty: Cryptologic Network Warfare Specialist (35Q). Soldiers from any MOS may apply as long as their current MOS will release them to reclassify into this new field. Soldiers in the grades of E-3 to E-6, serving in the active force are eligible. One requirement is that a score of 109 is needed on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery for those who took the test prior to Jan. 2, 2002, and 105 or better after that date. Also, the two pertinent documents on the new MOS can be found in Military Personnel messages 12-173 and (http://www.armyreenlistment.com/Message ... 120621.pdf) 12-187. Interested Soldiers should talk with their career counselors right away to determine if they qualify.
For more Army news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
VOW Act Tax Credit for Businesses
The Internal Revenue Service is reminding employers who plan to claim an expanded tax credit for hiring certain veterans that they should act soon. Businesses may qualify to receive thousands of dollars through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), but only if the veteran begins work before the new year. Employers may be able to claim the expanded WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011, but before Jan. 1, 2013. The maximum tax credit is $9,600 per worker for employers that operate for-profit businesses, or $6,240 per worker for tax-exempt organizations. For more information, visit the IRS.gov website and enter "WOTC" in the search field.
For more tips for tax season, visit the (http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes) Military.com Tax Center.
New Pearl Harbor Historical Sites App
The new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad was recently released officially. The JBPHH Historic Sites app allows users to pull up information about various points of interest around the base, including vintage photographs, historical data and more. The app has hundreds of photos and pages of information about the Navy and early Air Corps and Air Force presence in Hawaii. It will be periodically updated as new discoveries of information are made. The Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad is available for free on iTunes as a 200 megabyte file.
For more on Pearl Harbor, visit the (http://www.military.com/Resources/Histo ... harbor.htm) Military.com Pearl Harbor page.
Video Contest for High School Students
The Department of Defense (DoD) 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee and the GI Film Festival (GIFF) are launching "Heroes Remembered: Voices of Korean War Veterans" -- an oral-history video contest for high school students. The young videomakers will create 3-to-5-minute videos to educate, encourage and promote veterans of the Korean War, upload the videos to YouTube or Vimeo, and send their video links to the submission site. All entries must come from students attending high school in the United States, its territories or a DoD international school. Five films will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship. The submission period for the contest is Oct. 10, 2012, to Feb. 13, 2013. For more information including rules and submission directions, visit the (http://gifilmfestival.com/rememberingkorea/) GI Film Festival website.
For more military-related entertainment news, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty) Military.com Entertainment Center.
Google Launches VetNet Website
Google recently launched what may be the largest online hub to help American men and women exiting the military. Called (http://www.vetnethq.com/) VetNet, the site offers veterans three distinct "tracks" to plot and organize their next life moves -- from "basic training" which aids job hunters to "career connections" which links users to corporate mentors and other working veterans to "entrepreneur" which offers a roadmap to starting a business. Google partnered with three leading nonprofits in veteran-employment to create the new website: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's (http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes) Hiring Our Heroes program, the (http://vets.syr.edu/) Institute for Veterans and Military Families, and (http://www.hireheroesusa.org/) Hire Heroes USA.
For more on military transition and civilian job listings nationwide, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.
$350k Family Protection From $26 a Month
Give your family the peace of mind with quality life insurance coverage. Get $350k coverage starting at just $26 a month. Isn't your family's future worth it? (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... =vr1210.nl) Find coverage now.
Deal of the Week: VETERANS Save up to 50%
All Vets get up to 50% off on Gifts, Outdoor, Lifestyle, Golf, Watches, Knives, Sunglasses, Hunting and Apparel on GovX.com! (https://www.govx.com/milcom?utm_source= ... rtsepoct12) For Active, Reserve and U.S. Vets/Retired & Gov't.
DoD's Presidential Inauguration Plans
The Joint Task Force -- National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) social media sites for the 57th Presidential Inauguration are now available. JTF-NCR is providing several interactive, comprehensive sites as sources of information pertaining to DoD involvement in inaugural events. Content includes historical facts, up-to-date details about inaugural events, current and historical photos and artwork, service-specific details, profiles on personnel supporting the inauguration, and even patriotic crafts and activities. The 57th Presidential Inauguration website is available at (http://inauguralsupport.mdw.army.mil/) inauguralsupport.mdw.army.mil. Visit the related Facebook website at (http://www.facebook.com/jointtaskforceNCR) www.facebook.com/jointtaskforceNCR, the (https://twitter.com/JTFNCR) Twitter website, (http://www.youtube.com/jtfncrpa) YouTube website, the (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdw_events ... 1880836857) Flickr website, the (http://pinterest.com/jtfncr/) Pinterest website, and the (http://www.dvidshub.net/unit/JTF-NCR#.UMF2SncTNPI) DVIDS website.
For more military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
Safety-Kleen Committed to Hiring Veterans
Safety-Kleen is focused on providing safe, dependable environmental services that protect our customers and the environment. We are the largest used oil collector and re-refiner in the world as well as the leader in parts cleaning services. We serve businesses of all sizes, helping them balance their financial objectives with their sustainability goals. We have great opportunities for the skilled men and women who have served in the U.S. Military to join our team of experts that enable our customers to Make Green Work(R). (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... RC=mrvr.nl) Search and find employment opportunities just right for you.
American Legion Magazine Offers Online Audio
Recent visitors to the home page of (http://www.legion.org/magazine) The American Legion Magazine have probably noticed something new. Beginning with the August 2012 issue, audio recordings of most sections and features are now accessible for download on the page, in addition to the usual text forms -- both free of charge. The Legion has a relationship with the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Ky., under which most of each month's magazine is read aloud and recorded. CDs with the recordings are then sent to blind subscribers on a list kept by the Legion. This service is free to American Legion members. To request to be placed on the list, e-mail (mailto:email@example.com) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Index of Military Forms
Accessing military and veteran benefits requires filling out the correct military forms. (http://www.military.com/benefits/record ... RC=mrvr.nl) See an index of official military forms from the DoD, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Department of Veterans Affairs will help you access your earned benefits. One of the most important documents you need is the DoD form known as the DD-214. Nearly every Department of Veterans Affairs benefit claim and most state veterans benefit applications require vets to submit this military form.
The Challenges of Paperless Vet Records
The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently held an oversight hearing entitled, "Wading through Warehouses of Paper: The Challenges of Transitioning Veterans Records to Paperless Technology." The Subcommittee has spent a large portion of the past two years exploring innovative ways to move the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) into the 21st century. Statements from the hearing along with a webcast are available on the (http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/wadin ... records-to) House Committee on Veterans Affairs website.
For more on obtaining veterans records and benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.
Qualifying for VA Loan Easy in Hard Lending Climate
Despite an even tougher lending climate this year, VA loan qualifying standards haven't changed. Based on an analysis of about 20% of the nation's total number of mortgages (VA loans excluded), everything from credit score to debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and loan-to-value (LTV) requirements have stiffened across the lending industry. The good news is that although conventional and FHA lending may be affected, VA loan qualifying guidelines haven't changed. (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... RC=mrvr.nl) See this Military.com article for more details.
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